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‘Sounding off’ about our big day, Jan. 11, 2006

The News-Herald’s long-talked about and eagerly anticipated (by me, at least) redesign is set to launch on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Don’t expect to be dazzled or anything, but we think you’ll at least be pleased with what we’ve done. In my more than 20 years in this business, I judge success or failure by the number of complaints we receive. If nobody calls and complains, it’s an overwhelming success.

With the needs and interests of our readers in mind, we’ve added some new features to allow you more opportunities to participate in the paper by providing news of interest about your family, club, church or what have you.

Some of the new features include:

Acts of Kindness. This will run a couple times a week. We want people to call or email and let us know about somebody or some group that has done something kind for someone else. Our staff will write a little story about it.

Ask the Expert: This will also go a couple times a week. We’ll take questions from readers about any topic, search down an expert on the subject and publish an answer.

We can do better: Know a situation in Suffolk that needs corrected? Or something that’s just an eyesore? Let us know and we’ll write about it, find out who’s responsible and ask them what they plan on doing about it.

Suffolk Scene: I particularly like this one. We will publish photos from readers from around Suffolk. It can be anything, a nice scenic shot, photos of a family reunion, a child’s birthday party, anything, as long as it’s from Suffolk. This will run daily.

Other new features include school lunch menus, a weekly business page, increased lifestyle coverage and more.

But the biggest new item we have is &uot;Sound Off.&uot; You will have the opportunity to call a special phone number – 757.934.9616. Please keep comments brief, speak slowly and clearly and stick to one topic. You don’t have to leave your name.

The key to all of this is your participation. If you have questions about anything referenced above, contact me or managing editor Douglas Grant at 934-9603 or doug.grant@suffolknewsherald.com, and we’ll tell you about it.